Gary Bourgeault has owned and managed several businesses and has been a financial adviser. In his spare time, he loves writing about music.
Nine Terrific Songs About the Resurrection
When doing research on songs for Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I was struck by how the majority of them I listened to were of a more somber note than say, Christmas songs written about the birth of Jesus.
If you wonder why I have to point out that the resurrection is associated with Easter, the answer is because Christian holidays, to a large degree, have been secularized, so it is thought of as something related to the Easter Bunny or hunting for eggs, without the original purpose and meaning of celebrating the holiday by Christians.
I had to do the same when writing about Christmas songs with the birth of Jesus in them, because of the many storylines outside of the Nativity narrative.
That said, I've included nine songs below that focus on the original meaning of Easter as it relates to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I start with my favorite called "I'll Rise Again" by Dallas Holm.
1. "I'll Rise Again" by Dallas Holm
"I'll Rise Again" by Dallas Holm is easily my favorite Easter or resurrection song. It focuses on the temporal perception of defeat leading to the death of Jesus Christ; as the lyrics in the song attributed to the Savior declare, it's only a transitory period before the victory of overcoming the grave.
Of the many songs performed by Holm over a career that has spanned over 40 years, "I'll Rise Again" is by far the most successful and appreciated by fans.
2. "Christ Is Risen" by Matt Maher
As with most songs concerning the resurrection, "Christ Is Risen" tells the story of Jesus turning what appeared to be defeat into victory.
The question is asked, based upon 1 Cor. 15.55, "Where O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
Among a number of things I like about his particular video, is the terrific images used during the song. The combination of compelling lyrics and imagery makes for an inspiring message and experience for the viewer and listener.
3. "Prince of Peace"
For the English-speaking viewer and listener, this Coptic version of the song "Prince of Peace" will sound different than what you're used to, but after a bit it does start to draw you in; at least it did with me.
It also includes some good visuals that enhances the overall effect and experience of the audience.
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Again, this is different than most people will be used to, but I definitely enjoyed listening to it more than once. It captures the fact and impact of the resurrection expressed from a culture most of us aren't familiar with.
4. "He's Alive" by Dolly Parton
When finding Dolly Parton offering up "He's Alive," I wasn't quite sure what to expect because of the style used by most singers in regard to the resurrection.
That said, it was actually a nice surprise to hear her rendition of "He's Alive" in the typical way Dolly sings at times in her narrative style. It worked good with this song.
I like how she performed the song in a way that showed respect by not including a lot of bells and whistles that many other entertainers may use. I'm not saying she didn't do it with other songs, only that with this particular song she kept her focus on the content rather than solely entertaining.
I think you'll like how she performs it.
5. "Resurrection Morn" by The Perry Sister
This version of "Resurrection Morn" by The Perry Sisters is done in what consider more of a Southern Gospel style.
I very much enjoyed it, and when considering the large hair that was popular in those days, it adds a charming visual effect that reflects the fashion of that time period.
The song itself offers the hope and inspiration that came from the morning of the resurrection.
6. "Shout Hallelujah to the Risen Lamb!"
One of the interesting things I discovered when researching the Easter or resurrection songs was that many of them were performed by choirs. While I usually prefer to hear these songs sung by an individual artist or group, there are some songs that simply need to be sung by a choir to get the full impact and effect of the musical presentation. That's definitely the case with "Shout Hallelujah to the Risen Lamb."
What's particularly compelling about this energetic song is not only the crisp pace of the arrangement but also the way the male and female vocalists call and respond to one another.
7. "It Wasn't Easy" by Cece Winans
In the song "It Wasn't Easy," Cece Winans sings of the struggle of the Savior in the ordeal He went through on the cross. Included in the video are scenes from the movie "The Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson.
The combination of the imagery and passionate singing of Cece Winans produces a powerful and emotional effect that lingers with you during and after the performance.
8. "See What a Morning" by Stuart Townend
"See What a Morning" is very true to the Scriptures. It is a song by Stuart Townend & Keith Getty and performed by Kristyn Getty.
Not only is it an inspiring song, but I think, because of the accuracy of the lyrics in regard to the historical narrative, it is something that could be used by parents, grandparents, or teachers to aid in telling the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in a way that keeps the attention of everyone listening.
It has a touch of Celtic in this version, which differentiates it from the other styles included in this particular list of songs.
9. "Jesus Christ is Risen Today"
This is a traditional arrangement of the Charles Wesley song "Jesus Christ is Risen Today." It is sung to the accompaniment of an organ.
According to hymnary.org, the song "appeared in the Wesley Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1740, p. 100; again in Gloria Patri, &c, or Hymns to the Trinity, 1746, and again in the Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. iii. p. 345."
If you like the traditional way hymns are sung, this arrangement produces the sense of awe and majesty associated with the historical event that changed the world and eternity forever.
While the birth of Jesus Christ receives a lot of focus during the Christmas season - much more on a worldwide basis than Easter or the resurrection, the reason why, as you can hear in the songs included above, are they are about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which has much more depth and solemnity accompanying them because of the context of the subject matter.
For Christians from the time of the resurrection, it was the event that changed all of history, and the one that gives promise of eternal life to those having faith in Him and His death on the cross, and afterwards, being raised from the dead.
While it was a great moment for the world, it was an unfathomable period of suffering of the Savior until He died. The good news, as these songs point out, is that He in fact has risen again, and that is great news for those that believe in Him.
I hope you enjoy these songs and get something out of the message in them.